Saturday, December 15, 2012


Some online friends were talking about trying to make sense of the recent school shootings. One of my musically talented friends shared this quote:
“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” ~ Leonard Bernstein
I am no musician, but I love the kernel of that idea. I think God wants us to respond to the sin around us in faith, not in fear, and part of that is embracing His love for us and goodness to us and LIVING more and more abundantly in Him. John 10:10 ~ The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Our sixth grade songbook had a little ditty in it I liked (which I suspect had some stealth lesson I missed about scales), called Coffee. The lyrics were: 
Coffee is no-ot fo-or me
It's a drink some people wa-ake u-up with
That it makes them nervous i-is no-o myth
Slaves to a coffee cup
They can't give coffee up.

Or maybe it was a lesson on slurs and staccato notes? 

Whatever. The point here is that I took the lesson to heart, and have never become a coffee drinker. And everywhere I go on the internet, I see references to caffeine being essential for academic success. e.g.:
I have begun to think it must have been a nearly miraculous occurrence for me to complete my education without coffee... some day, my stories to my grandchildren on my knee will start, not, "I walked two miles in the snow to school" but "I made it through college without even a sip of coffee. And that was back before power drinks had even been invented." 

Oh, the cleverness of me!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tree of Life

Today called for a special art project at our place. I used this lesson plan working with Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life. The handout she included was real helpful for us.  

Mr Music went to town with the oil pastels and he added roots to his design, which are just amazing:

Miss Dog Lover got the most detailed swirly branches, and lots of little "fruits." I love that she included some apples, you just couldn't help but think about the gardens of Scripture:

I am not sure about my curlicues. I know the others show up better, if I make another tree, I will do it on kraft paper for better contrast. I think it would be fun to paint one and glue on sequins and beads. And maybe a little bird singing cheerily in the garden: 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Comfort for My Small Animal Feelings

I am currently working on memorizing Philippians. One of the chunks up for review today was this:
for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.  Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.  I am hard pressed between the two.  My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.  But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.  Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. ~ Philippians 1:19-26 
Today the "full courage" struck me. I tend to think that if I am living by faith, I have no need of courage, I am just able to trust in God at all times without any extra effort... but here is Paul (!) relying on prayers to have courage. That is comforting to someone who has always identified with Piglet: 
"It is hard to be brave," said Piglet, sniffling slightly, "when you're only a Very Small Animal." I am so thankful God is So Very Large.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Learning to Be Here, Now

I have watched this a few times and like some of the things he says. I especially love the way he uses his hands to communicate. It also merges well with my favorite C. S. Lewis quote at the moment ~ "The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received." And my favorite line (ouch!) "Multi-tasking is a myth. You ain't doing anything good, just everything awful." So close your other browsers, ask the Holy Spirit to give you ears to hear, and listen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

poetry day

the best schooldays are when I get to do something I love. The Bananalets and I are mid-poetry unit and today was e. e. cummings day. We didn't do this poem, but it fits my mood and the season:
a wind has blown the rain away
by E.E. Cummings

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. I think i too have known
autumn too long

          (and what have you to say,
wind wind wind—did you love somebody
and have you the petal of somewhere in your heart
pinched from dumb summer?
          O crazy daddy
of death dance cruelly for us and start

the last leaf whirling in the final brain
of air!)Let us as we have seen see
doom’s integration………a wind has blown the rain

away and the leaves and the sky and the
trees stand:
        the trees stand. The trees,
suddenly wait against the moon’s face.
I am so glad the trees stand.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Last Few Leaves

My mind wonders as I wander through life. Last week's storm brought down almost all the fall leaves at once. Almost all. It seems many trees have a few stubborn leaves that cling. And they tend to be the ones clear out at the end of the twigs.
That seems odd to me. It seems they are farthest from getting sap from the tree. It seems they might get blown about more forcefully than the rest of the leaves. 

It is making me think that maybe it literally is a good thing to be "out on a limb" - to go all out and not play it safe. I hope I am out on a limb for Christ and abiding in Him and know He will never let me go.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Extra Time

Our state requires standardized testing of homeschooled students every few years and today was the day for Mr Music to go. This gave me a quiet day, with Miss Dog Lover as the only student currently enrolled, so I had a bit of time. That is a good thing.

I had time to call and talk to my Mum.  <3

I had time to watch the birds who are new arrivals for the winter.
I had time to sharpen all my colored pencils that I use for Bible marking. I started using Kay Arthur study books and have taken her marking system to a new level. This works for me because I like coloring, and it slows me down and makes me think about what I am reading.

And this evening Devastatingly Handsome and I had time to try to find an old-style piece of blotting paper and have ice cream sundaes together. :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Fun

One of my recent resolutions is to have fun. Here are a few pictures of playing around in the past weeks. First, my good buddy Melrose visited the museum with us.
And I went on an acorn hat floating adventure, twice, actually. This picture is from the second time. They are little coracles, like in the book A String in the Harp.
I picked some colorful leaves, ironed them dry, and then mod-podged them to preserve the colors. They look like they are just permanently wet. Since the non-stop rain the past few days has brought down ALL the leaves, and kept them wet, I have to wonder why I bothered.  :-P
And a fun little acorn hat craft. I colored inside with markers and then filled them with white glue. This is how they looked halfway dry. Now they are shiny and the color is more intense. I'll take some photos when I do some more. :)
I am glad I can enjoy God's world. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

For Very Small Animals on a Blustery Night

Mark 4:37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

With Jesus in the boat you can smile through the storm... while you're sailing home.  :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"And how about the colors, Frederick?"

This week we had lovely warm fall weather which when I was growing up and we were unenlightened we called "Indian Summer." Now we know better and call it "global warming." 


Every year when we get this perfect weather my brain puts me into the Leo Lionni book Frederick
Today it went up to 79 and the sky was blue and the sun was golden and so warm it felt like gentle toasting and you can feel your skin making vitamin D. 

And you know it is the last you are going to feel this till probably the end of May. Or maybe even June. So, today I am Frederick, gathering colors and words for the longness and greyness of winter.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Poetry Hour

This morning in worship I started to notice tiny bits of white falling past me. Most odd. One came by every maybe 20 seconds or so, and then occasionally a group of three or four at a time.



And white.

I ran possibilities through my mind. Not snow. We were inside and the day warm and the building tight. Not dandruff, they were falling straight down from above. Was the guy behind me launching some sort of fine cracker crumbs aloft? Or was the sky falling, I wondered, feeling a bit like Chicken Little?

I picked up a tiny crumb and put it on a sheet of note paper and wrote a note to Devastatingly Handsome and passed it down, "Some tiny crumbs keep falling down on me." He read it, motioned at the crumb, and gave me the "you are insane" look.

And still they continued to fall. 

Mr Music told me there was a ladybug crawling on the ceiling. Apparently the painter used the same paint right across the acoustic ceiling tile and the metal support and the paint does not really adhere to the metal. So, if something as rough and tumble as a ladybug crawls across it, it flakes down on the congregants in tiny bits. 

Mystery solved.

Good thing I am not a Scottish poet or I would be writing an ode: To A Ladybug. Because I am easily distracted like that in church (actually, at all times). (apologies for the formatting. Blogger and I are not getting along today. And it is not worth, it, anyhow, just a ramble...)

O Jenny do not toss your head,                   O congregants, do not fear above
And set your beauties all abroad!                 Nor gather plaster in your eyes!You little know what cursed speed                 You little know what crumbs of paint
 The bugger's making!                                  The ladybugs drop down!                  
Those winks and finger-ends, I dread,          Those crumbs and tidbits, I dread,  
Are notice taking!                                        And try not to notice!

O would some Power the good Lord give us  Oh would some Power the good Lord give us
To see ourselves as others see us!                   To pay attention as the sky falls!

It would from many a blunder free us,          It would from many a dropping spare us,
And foolish notion:                                       And foolish notion:
What airs in dress and gait would leave us,   What airs in spots and six small legs,
And even devotion!                                       Spoil my attention!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fallen in Beauty

I am not sure where I am going with this, it is just a thought I had walking ye dear doggie through the woods the other day and enjoying the beautiful colors and smell of fallen leaves: Why is death and decay in this setting so beautiful?

A couple years ago Devastatingly Handsome was involved in finding the body of a neighbor who had been dead several weeks. It was far from beautiful, and taught us new things about the ugliness of death. And yet, here, in the leaves, the green which is their life has drained away and what is left is truly gorgeous. Are we seeing death wrongly? is it different because, um, the fallen leaves have not fallen into sin? 

Something for me to ponder as I enjoy the beauty this fall.
Psalm 116:15 ~ Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Gifts

Fall, or as my Dad called it, Sweater Weather, is my favorite time of year. In honor of its arrival in full leaf force, I want to share some of the gifts God has shared with me this fall. 

First, we were blessed by a friend bringing over a bag of Melrose apples for us to try to see if that is a kind of apple we'd like to plant. They are delicious, just a bit tart, nice and firm and juicy. My little pink monkey, Melrose, is in love.  <3  If you can't have little pink bananas, the next best thing is an apple that bears your name.
Second, my Mum gave me this lovely ring. It is her birthstone, and mine, the peridot. This ring belonged to *her* grandmother, and her grandfather gave it to her on her 13th birthday, reset with the peridot for her. I love the golden tracery on the sides, and the sheer connectedness of it.
And someone on this property has left lots of lovely things planted. I was happy to find these Chinese lanterns growing across from my kitchen and am enjoying their cheerful color on my dining room table. Aren't they fun? Miss Dance thinks God was good to give us little pumpkinny seed pods. I agree.  :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Literary Road Trip

Last night I finished reading Leif Enger's Peace Like a River. If you haven't read it, read it. If you've read it, read it again. This book packs an incredible lot of Truth into a novel, and his use of English is amazing. His words about miracles are bright and new.

My three favorite quotes on the first reading, the things that immediately called forth a YES! from inside me:
* No miracle happens without a witness. Someone to declare, Here's what I saw. Here's how it went. Make of it what you will.
* Once traveling, it's remarkable how quickly faith erodes. It starts to look like something else - ignorance, for example. Same thing happened to the Israelites. Sure it's weak, but sometimes you'd rather just have a map.
*Listening to Dad's guitar, halting yet lovely in the search for phrasing, I thought: Fair is whatever God wants to do.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just the Basics

One of the best reasons for having children is so you have more things to celebrate. One of the best things to celebrate is birthdays. One of the best ways to celebrate is cake. One of the best cakes to make is the chocolate raspberry supreme. One of the best reasons to make that cake is to frost it with this fudge frosting. And THE BEST reason is so you can lick the bowl. And the beaters.
Thank you, Miss Dance, for making this celebration possible. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Advice for Tourists

In light of Miss Language being in China now and pretty much her whole life involving engrish, it is lame for me to publish more. You may call me jealous as well as lame ~ I cannot resist sharing this:
This could be improved upon as general life advice. I consider myself in many ways a tourist through life. I want to Enjoy the views While walking! though I thoroughly agree about the no smoking, caution in thunderstorm, and mind steps in rain and snow.

And now for a word from Melrose. He does not approve of rule #3. One of the best things in life is flirt by feeding. Especially chocolate, or chocolate covered bananas. With lots of sprinkles! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Motto: Get Movin'

Mr Music has just started playing soccer but is less than thrilled with his team's name: The Screaming Platypuses
Miss Language and I have to wonder if that should be The Screaming Platypi, but, whatever. The name concerns me a little when I think of the venomous spurs on the male of the species, but, hey, Mr Music is wearing shin guards, so again, whatever. 

What I did not expect was to waken from a dream where his team has been renamed. Yes. They now sport jerseys with a rocker on the front
and are named The Amish Rockers

I understand that dreams are just neurons misfiring, but I gotta wonder what it is that my neurons are loaded with, anyhow.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Maybe this will date me, but my Mum has always talked about   what happens when "an irresistible force meeting an immovable object."* I do not think people talk about that much anymore. That may be due to the whole postmodernism thing, though Miss Language assures me postmodernism is not a simple to grasp as I think - still, it does seem to have a level of uncertainty, perhaps not compatible with absolutes such as irresistibility or immovability, and so, maybe irresistible forces or immovable objects have mainly ceased to exist. 

But there remains at least one of each, currently residing under our roof. Mr Music is an irresistible force (ask anyone whose had to bat against his pitching), and, once again this year, he has impacted the immovable object of Distribution of Multiplication Over Addition in his math text. And it results in some sort of endless transfer of energy.

* be sure to check the fun link. The pizza reply is especially insightful.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fashion Statement

Anyone who has never met me in real life probably pictures a total fashion plate. However, I am not. Hope you are not too disappointed.  :-P

But, I do wonder when I see things like a picture that came in an email of patterns from Lion yarn today. It included this hat:
with the heading: Make a statement with this crocheted beret! The fun popcorn stitch adds a unique texture, and the Mustard shade of Vanna's Choice is one of the most popular colors of the autumn season. 

I have to wonder just what that means? Exactly what sort of statement would this hat be making? And is it one I want to make?

Statements that come to mind include:
* I have been taken over by a yarn mushroom.
* I love muffins!

What does it look like to you?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Time to Talk About Time

Time has always been a kind of fuzzy concept for me that if I start thinking about too much everything around me starts to go splotchy and I start to hear humming in my head and wonder if the universe really exists or is all inside my skull.

And now I am finding, with Miss Language on the other side of the world, that time is even fuzzier. By the clock, she is teaching a class right now in China - where it is 9 something in the morning while it is 9 something at night here. That makes no sense to me. How can that be? It is easier in my head for me to just think she will be teaching a class at 9 something in the morning, or that she did teach that class this morning... and yes, I know some of you live in one of these parallel dimensions where night and day are reversed somehow and I am not sure what day it is anywhere. But that is OK.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Verdant and Pernicious

This was our first summer in the new house, and not being much of a gardener, I decided to just kind of observe what comes up for a year before even considering any sort of effort. 

My dear brother visited about 6 weeks ago and told me that the lush plants in the flower bed would not be making good on my hopes that they would burst into bloom. He told me they were weeds. In fact, he used the modifier pernicious. Yuck. I know a thing or two about pernicious, especially in relation to my sin.

And of course he turned out to be right. Look at them, don't they appear to be full of life? Looking hopeful and flourishing? I mentally keep calling them verdant
When you pull up these apparently innocuous plants, you find an incredible network of roots and shoots to new plants. No wonder this has spread throughout the flower bed. 
My brother also told me about these nastier looking, obviously weedy items, which he calls plantain. He told me the green seedy part at the top is the flower, and that when they are "in bloom" like this, they are easily uprooted. 
He is right about that, too. Here is all the bigger the root is on these little weeds when they flower:
They are actually proving fun to yank up because the root comes out so cleanly.

Which of course, makes me wonder about the parable of the wheat and the tares growing up together and about sin itself. Maybe some sins are just uglier than others, and maybe you can't guess by appearances how hard they will be to uproot. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Today's Theory

{Insert sarcasm font/} 
After almost a decade of schooling Mr Music, I have finally figured it out. The only logical explanation is that he has some sort of force field which drastically increases the coefficient of friction between his pencil point and the paper, thus slowing down its progress across the page. Yeah, that must be it. 
{/sarcasm font off}

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Peanut Butter Balls

Mr Music decided to do some cooking for me on my birthday but was trying to do it on the sly. He kept coming to me with innocuous questions, like, "What does granulated mean?" "How do you measure butter?" and "Do we have any crunchy peanut butter?" But my favorite was "Exactly what would a recipe mean if it said 'Chill'? Does that mean, me chill, or does it mean the food?"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pretty Sure She Learned This from The Princess Bride

Ya gotta love Miss Dog Lover. What she lacks in clarity on how language and the (much overrated) Real World work, she makes up for in intensity and effort. 

Case in point, the other day we were in the car on our way back from errands, when she starts talking about a papercut she picked up. She tends to go on and on obsess talk a lot about any injuries and what treatment may be required. I tell her we will wash the paper cut up and take a look when we get home. She makes a dramatic noise and tells me it really hurts. I tell her we will wash it up and take a look. Soon. She makes a dramatic noise and tells me she did not mean to get such a bad papercut. I tell her I will wash it up and put some triple antibiotic on it as soon as I get to the sink. 

And then she starts saying, "Lemon juice! Lemon juice is good for paper cuts, right? Do you have lemon juice? I will just rub some lemon juice on it and it will be all better, right?" while I am trying to break in and tell her, actually, no, lemon juice is not the way to go.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Don't Worry, I Didn't Buy It

Devastatingly Handsome took us to a big auction. No, scratch big. Bigger than big. Something like 1600+ vendors. (Although, to be honest, a lot of them looked like franchisees selling the same stuff as each other.)

But this one item, I just loved AND still had the maturity to leave right in the bin ~ are you feeling proud of me? This little pink monstrosity:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review Time

This is an unusual post for me. I am reviewing a book just out. It is by Joshua Becker and is called Living With Less: An Unexpected Key to Happiness. The author sought out some bloggers a few weeks ago to review this and post about it on release day, which is today.  :)

I have been reading his blog for a few months now and appreciate Becker’s call to reducing our possessions and earthly treasures in favor of something better. This new book of his is directed at Christian teens. I was hoping to read a clear call to treasure Christ above all, maybe something in the spirit of an updated version of the old  More With Less.

So. I read the book and took notes, I shall go through them in order.

I was glad to see in the title “an unexpected key to happiness” because it seems true in my experience that usually the places we look for happiness are not the places we find it. And I was pleased with a phrase in the dedication “written for an audience destined to find full life in Christ alone.” 

And then we hit the book itself, which is 104 small pages, plus some endnotes. Becker leads off with statistics about the way Americans live - loving our stuff and being in debt for it. He tells a lot of stories along the way and then ties them in to his points, and he is talking not only about rethinking our possessions, but also actions and words. He introduces the idea that we need someone in a father-like role to guide our spending, and suggests that Christ will take that on, working out of love for us. He makes a case to establish Christ’s authority in our lives. 

In chapter 2, Becker talks about what Jesus had to say about possessions and I liked his saying this is an “incredibly inconvenient teaching.” 

He goes on to explain his family’s choice of minimalism and how that has worked out for them.

Becker talks a lot about our heart and finding joy by letting go of possessions, and talks about how his ideas resonate within the heart. He then gives a long list of benefits of limiting your possessions - from very practical (can live in a smaller house) to rather abstract (fewer places for your heart to go), and finally rounds out the “heart section” by talking about the impact of these choices on our hearts - things like increased generosity.

He ends the book with a kind of challenge to take Christ literally in His words about poverty, forsaking treasure on earth, and sharing our possessions.


There is a lot here to like. And I do not feel I have much of a handle on how his target audience might process his words. But, the bottom line for me is rather ironic. I think Becker needed to minimize this book. I find it overworded and, dare I say, cluttered?

I hope that those who read it will keep the valuable parts, truly consider the words of Christ in a counter-cultural way, and get rid of the flotsam.

Thank you for the chance to review this book. I found it thought-provoking and challenging.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Imagine Taps Playing Softly in the Background

Our '96 Grand Voyager, Cocoa, was declared beyond resuscitation today by the mechanics, so we sold her for about what we spent on two new tires for her about a month ago and lost money due to the gas tank being almost full. It is a sad day but I understand her transmission will be transplanted into another car to relieve its suffering, and who knows, other parts may be salvageable as well.

We spent awhile at the dealership, making final arrangements, as it were, and I noticed that if anyone there was going 'round hungry, they were out of luck.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sixty-four Degrees

Really? This is the middle of August, in Pennsylvania, four in the afternoon, the time of year and of day I expect hazy, hot, and humid. Instead it feels pretty well into fall and is so dark the photosensitive window candles are on. It is not really raining but it is far from dry out there ~ kind of like a movie set  in eternal misty fog. The Siberian Husky dog days of summer. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012


The other day I came across an article about the Pray-O-Mat. Sounds straight off of Veggie Tales, doesn't it? Remember the old Forgive-O-Matic?

I just keep thinking about it. Obviously the idea that you can buy favors is not a good one, nor is the thought that there are a variety of deities able to answer prayer.

But. I like the idea of having public reminders to pray. Of course there is the whole concern about praying on the street corners to be seen by men. Not good. 

I am also struck by the idea that you should pay for the privilege of praying. Our High Priest has already paid that cost, but maybe it is good to have a reminder that there WAS a cost. 

Anyhow. I think it will be quite awhile till we see one in my neighborhood, but it did get me thinking. The booth also reminds me of Clark Kent and so you gotta remember that you come away from prayer much changed from how you went in. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

God Does Not Use Qualifiers Like I Do

I've been doing a fair bit of memory work this summer. One of the passages I added to my scripture typer account is 2 Corinthians 9:8-15. I added it because when I read it recently, I was struck in several places with a really??? kind of noticing all the absolutes ~ the alls and the everys ~ no sometimeses or maybes ~ and nothing that applied this passage (as I had in the past) simply to financial support. No. This passage talks about every area of life at all time. I am pretty sure that covers even while teaching fractions and even when I am tired and even when too many things are coming at me and even when I disagree. It even uses that submission word and talks about it in context of bringing glory to Christ. So I thought I had better do what I can to get the whole idea of God's absolute provision for all my needs into my head:

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.  As it is written, "He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."  He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.  For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.  By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.  Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Summer Adventure

Miss Pink has pretty much let me know I need more adventure in my life, so I want everyone to know I have taken that to heart and embraced adventure galore. Today I went to Wal*Mart. I usually park here:
but today, just to be adventurous, I parked in the next row over. You need to understand, my usual spot was available. I did this purely for the thrill of the thing. The new spot (btw, this is our car, Scarlett):
I thought that would be the end of the adventure and decided to photograph it for evidence. That turned out to be not the best idea. Mr Normal Customer, who was parking, became concerned at me taking photos in a public spot. He asked me what I thought I was doing, anyhow. So I explained about my blog, and about Miss Pink, and about seizing adventure by the horns. For some reason he seemed incredulous. 

If the FBI shows up to arrest me for terrorist behavior, I probably won't be blogging for awhile. But, that would be a whole new level of adventure, so it's all good.

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Life in a Single Quote

Yesterday was hot and very very humid here, the kind of day when you just can't breathe. Evening service was in a small church without airco. Afterwards, I noticed Mr Young Smartdresser in his dress pants, black buttondown shirt, and grey vest. I asked him how he could handle it.

He shrugged and said, "I was in Iraq."

"True. I forgot. What is it there, like 108?"

He said more like somewhere between 110 and sometimes 130. Now I felt somewhat bad for even mentioning the heat and not feeling the need for mittens instead, but, instead of shutting up and thanking him for serving, I kept going, "What is that even like? Do you feel like you have a fever or what?"

His exact quote, "You just get used to not getting used to it."

I know exactly what he means.  :-P

Sunday, August 5, 2012

New View

I had the opportunity to view the world from a new vantage point for just about 24 hours. I had a little run in with chest pain and the doc decided this called for brief vacation from the bananalets whilst being under observation at the hospital. Everything came back good thus far :) and hence the random observations.

First: I am now convinced ER people can tell homeschoolers from non-homeschoolers. In our old town, way back when Miss Dog Lover was a tot, she took frequent visits to their nebulizer in the interest of keeping breathing. The triage nurse there asked me if I was a homeschooling mom. Yes, how did he know? He knew because, he said, I knew everything about my kids off the top of my head. And the triage nurse here asked me, too, though I had no kids whatsoever in tow. (I admit to doing a quick scan to make sure I was not wearing a denim jumper or lugging any textbooks.) How did she know, I asked? Well, she said, when she asked if I was short of breath, I said, maybe just a little when I am reading long chapters (we are on Lewis's Space Trilogy now). Isn't that sad? Reading aloud with your kids, one of the greatest joys, is maybe almost unique to homeschoolers? No wonder more people don't homeschool, they don't know what fun they're missing.

And second: My room was right outside the nurse's station and the floor was pretty quiet so I heard an awful lot of chit-chat between very nice, educated, mostly middle-aged women. And these women need Jesus. They were talking about drinking. And boyfriends. And what they would do for fun on the weekend. And how much reading Shades of Grey makes her happy. I am so often surrounded by Christian, churchified friends, that I really forget that perfectly nice, solid citizens around me, are starving for Christ. I am glad to have had a reminder and hope to figure out ways to remember that don't involve IVs.

In the meantime, please pray for Billy Jo, and Tammy, and Sue, and Casey, and Joyce, and Kiley, and my doctor. They took good care of me and I hope my Father will take care of them.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I decided to do a post about things to help me keep steady, things to encourage myself, things I can make happen for myself, at least most of the time. I had some suggestions, which are included, and will edit back to add helpful ideas from comments, or from my own observations.  :)

I noticed things from my own list fell into a few broad categories, so I am giving them an acronym: FOCUS - to remind me to keep my eye on the prize of becoming more Christlike. This list is personalized for me, and is just a memory-jogger, not in any special order.  I am putting the ones I consider dailies in bold. :)

F ~ fix my eyes on Christ
          do my memory work   
          do my devotions 
          remember God has things covered (preach to myself and put myself in the path of teaching)
          keep thankfulness journal
          ask for the Spirit's help
O ~ others need my love
          make a meal for someone
          send someone an encouraging email or note
          call someone I love
          invite someone over
          write a thank-you note

C ~ count on others
          look for the helpers
          keep a calendar of things I'm looking forward to
          ask for prayer
          hang pictures and set things out that remind me I'm loved
U ~ useful things cheer me up
          do a sewing or knitting project
          clean up something
          pick berries
          do a load of laundry
          pull weeds
          finish things on the to-do list and cross them off
          rearrange the furniture or decorate for a changing season

S ~ sensory care ~ things that just please me
          write a blog post  
          walk in the woods and observe nature (take the dog to put it in U)
          aim for 10,000 steps on my pedometer
          do a workout
          polish my toenails
          fix a new centerpiece
          walk in the rain
          keep list of gratitudes, good things, kindness, etc
          eat chocolate
          have a cup of chai
          play hymns or music I like
          wear a favorite piece of jewelry
          take a long hot shower
          do something creative - color or rubber stamp or craft
          go out for a treat